The paper 'Human Resource Development Issues' is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. The introduction of computerized or digital patient management systems in many hospitals was a timely and welcome adoption of modern technology in healthcare. Patient management systems enabled many hospitals or medical services providers to streamline their internal operations as they could access information such as patient medical history at the click of a mouse (Kho et al 2006). However, it also poses many practical challenges for nurses and other hospital staff. the existing technology, laptop, and desktop computers, that were either forced to were bulky and cumbersome and medical staff had to make endless and inconveniencing trips between desktop stations or had to push along cumbersome laptop trolleys from laboratories towards to other work stations (Robertson et al 2010).
They also had short battery life and hindered interpersonal communication between nurses and patients as the nurses had to type in information while simultaneously interacting with the patient. Subsequently, this raised the analytical need for many public hospitals that had to look for alternatives to enhance their performance (Werner and DeSimone 2009).
Therefore, the introduction of portable handheld tablet computers such as Apple’ s iPad and Cisco’ s Cius posed a viable and practical solution to the problem of portability in mobile healthcare. Tablet computers were considered an upgrade from PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) which had been proven to be popular with medical students and younger nurses. Studies by Lapinsky et al (2001) and Kho et al (2006) had suggested that improvements in the capabilities such as those offered by handheld PDA devices would be welcomed as convenient in mobile healthcare.
However, the introduction of tablet computers into a hospitals’ patient management system implies that employees should possess the necessary skills to operate and maintain them. This posed a challenge for the hospital’ s Human Resource Managers to develop the skills, knowledge, and IT capabilities of hospital nurses to be able to use tablet computers. This Human Resource Development training program intends to facilitate the integration of tablet computers as a new technology into the patient management system at Armidale hospital. This is to be achieved through the training sessions that will equip the nurses at the hospital with the necessary skills to use the tablet computers in routine or emergency hospital activities such as accessing patient records from the hospital database, searching for medical references, viewing medical images such as graphs and x-rays, planning patient meals and medication, trending laboratory and medical reports and conducting follow up checks on patients. The training program is necessitated by a recent survey carried out on nurses and hospital staff in public hospitals which indicated that only 25 % of the nursing staff had previously used tablet computers in any capacity as opposed to 40% for doctors.
The survey also indicated that only 15% of the entries made into the hospital database were made by tablet computers (mostly doctors) and that nurses required an average of 2 and a half minutes to access patient data from the database. Contrasted against the results of an identical survey on private hospitals, this survey indicated that public hospitals were lagging behind in the adoption of new technologies in mobile healthcare. In addition, a separate survey administered to patients revealed that patients were dissatisfied with the level of interpersonal communication between them and nurses who, as they reported, preoccupied with reading from clipboards and bulky laptops.
The integration of tablet computer technology into the patient management system will, therefore, enable the hospital to increase its efficiency. This is due to the many advantages that tablet computers offer over currently used laptop computers such as networking and information sharing capability, ease of portability, reducing barriers between patients and hospital staff, and reducing the costs associated with printing medical records (Mobihealthnews 2011).
The training program is to be implemented on a rotational basis over a three month period which will allow sufficient time to reach each member of the hospital staff. The program will cover an introduction to tablet computers, applications of tablet computers in healthcare, networking, operations and maintenance of tablet devices, safety precautions while using tablet devices and practical application of tablet computers in the workplace.
Bartlett, K. R., 2001, ‘The Relationship between Training and Organizational Commitment: A study in the Health care Field’, Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol.12, no. 2, pp. 335–352.
Kaplan, R. & Norton, D., 2001, The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
Kho, A., Henderson, L., Dressler, D. & Kripalani S., 2006, ‘Use of Handheld Computers in Medical Education: A Systematic Review’, Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 21, no. 5, pp 531–537.
Kirkpatrick, D., 1994, Evaluating Training Programs, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc, San Francisco.
Lapinsky, S., Weshler, J., Mehta, S., Varkul M., Hallett D. & Stewart, T., ‘Handheld Computers in Critical Care’, Critical Care, vol. 5, no.4, pp. 227-31
Mobihealthnews, 2011, The Coming Medical Tablet War: iPad, Android, BlackBerry, HP and Others Vie to Dominate in Healthcare, Retrieved on April 28, 2011 from
Robertson, I., Miles, E. & Bloor, J., 2010, The iPad and Medicine. Retrieved on April 30, 2011 from
Werner, J. & DeSimone, R., 2009, Human Resource Development, 5th Ed, Cengage Learning, Mason, OH.